My business partner John is a one-man content creation juggernaught.
To give you an idea, this guy:
– Wrote a 3,000-word blog post every week for 7 years
– Created 55 video courses on different programming topics in less than 2 years
– Cranked out 2 500+ page books
– Now records 2-3 YouTube videos every single DAY
The upside to that kind of productivity is he's grown a huge audience.
The downside is that Simple Programmer is pretty much an avalanche of free content.
One of the things I like to do with the emails I write is to dig through the piles of content, find the gems that got the most traction on their own—and give them a second life.
Now a lot of people who have a blog will use their email list to send traffic to their posts.
The typical approach is to summarize what the blog post is about and close with a “click here to read more” call to action.
Better than nothing, sure.
Also dry, boring, uninspiring.
The way I tackle this is to use entertainment to hook the reader in and “sell” them on the benefits of the free content that lies behind the link.
(Yes, you do have to *sell* your blog posts and other content these days—you're competing for the reader's attention against a million different distractions.)
I recently sent an email to pitch a free video series about how to solve the tricky “code puzzle” interview questions that developers love to hate.
I opened the email with an example question that would make most developers immediately break out in a cold sweat.
Then I showed why the usual way of preparing for these interviews is completely useless.
And how John developed an approach that let him “read the seams on the fastball” no matter what the interviewers threw his way…
Which he spells out in the videos.
That email got some of the highest clickthroughs I've ever seen on this list.
And it's so much more fun to read than a ho-hum summary of the contents of the videos.
When you write a blog post, instead of starting with the usual 3-paragraphs summarizing what you're about to write, jump right into an entertaining story or example like I'm describing.
This type of writing can be just as engaging in a blog post as it is in an email.
Then when it's time to send your email, you can just copy and paste the first part of your blog post, ending with a cliffhanger that all but forces the reader to click through…